Russell, Harold


Only actor to win 2 Oscars for one role, activist in fight for employment rights for people with disabilities

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Autograph ID: 2723
Condition: Very good, typical bank cancellation markings
Description: “(1914-2002) Nova Scotia-born, lost his hands in WW II training accident. At Walter Reed Hospital, learned to use metal hooks to replace his hands and became so proficient at using them, he starred in a rehabilitation training documentary and at WW II war bond rallies. Director William Wyler and producer Sam Goldwyn cast him as Homer Parrish in the 1946 Wyler/Goldwyn film classic “The Best Years of Our Lives”. The film won 9 1947 Academy Awards and was the highest grossing film of its time. Russell received a special Oscar for “bringing aid and comfort to disabled veterans through the medium of motion pictures”, as well as Best Supporting Actor. In 1947, President Truman appointed him a member of the new President’s Committee on Employment of the Physically Handicapped (later renamed The President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities). He was appointed Vice Chairman by President Kennedy in 1962, and in 1964, President Johnson appointed him Chairman, position he held until his 1989 retirement. In addition to holding positions with numerous veterans organizations, Harold also appeared in several films and television episodes.

2-3/4 x 6 partly printed DS completed by him, Hyannis, Mass., May 7, 1986, blue-green BayBank check (his and his wife’s name and address printed at top left), paying $1,200 to “Betty Russell” (his wife)”, signed authentically by Russell at lower right, endorsed by Mrs. Russell in red ink on verso. When Harold was at the President’s Committee, I can personally attest that his assistant was very skilled at signing for him – his authentic signatures quite uncommon except for his checks.

Type: Check

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